06 January 2022

We Made It

 It caught me by surprise last night but it shouldn’t have. Back in 2018 I met the Ironman Legacy requirement of finishing a dozen Ironman races. They had promised I would get a slot at the Kona World Championships by 2022 but I thought that promise went out the window, what with the pandemic, Kona being cancelled in 2020 AND 2021, and the chaos that created. 

There it was in my email: 

You are now ready to finalize your registration for the 2022 IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawai`i….” I could hardly believe it!

This has been my goal since 2009. I didn’t expect it to happen this way - my goal was always to qualify outright by placing high enough in my age group. I missed that by 1 spot in one race and 3 spots in 2 other races. So now I get in through their Frequent Buyer rewards program. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very pumped to be going, it’s just that I fell a little short of my goal. I DID meet their requirements and played by the rules so it’s okay. And it doesn’t preclude me from continuing to try to qualify by winning a 140.6 Ironman triathlon.

When I sent in my qualification credentials to Ironman in 2018 they also asked for a background statement. Here’s an edited version of it: 

"In 1986 my ulcerative colitis was so severe that my only real option was surgical removal of my large intestine. I began triathlon in 2007, not sure I could possibly finish a sprint race. I did my first Ironman in 2009 and dreamed of going to Kona. On March 10, 2012 I had a vision of me crossing the finish line in Kona wearing my (Crohn's and Colitis Foundation's) Team Challenge orange race kit, carrying the flag, and hearing Mike Riley call out my name. I had this vision while listening to Chrissie Wellington speak at the Endurance Live awards in Los Angeles. It has been in my mind ever since. Triathlon and Ironman training have been a lifestyle for me for the past 10 years. It's my fountain of youth. I also have the honor of coaching athletes of many abilities. Some of them even come to IM Arizona to get a taste of the Ironman experience. I've helped inspire dozens to go beyond a sprint and take on a 70.3 or full. My passion as a coach is to help people overcome fears, change their beliefs about themselves, and help them be successful."

I know there are lots of people who have been on this journey with me. No one ever does these things by themselves. I’ll stick with my family for this post but there are SO MANY others who have had an impact and for that I am forever grateful! Thank you to my one-and-only Linda for going along on this CrazyTrain, to my Mom, Jayne, who has been so supportive and my head cheerleader, and my kids: Corey, Marc, and Courtney. THANK YOU!

Of course I intend to make a difference for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation while I’m on this journey of preparation for Kona. Would you consider a donation, large or small? (I haven’t even had a chance to make my own donation yet!) 


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